My husband and I understand the demands of paying off college debt and also being faced with funding our children's future education, as our oldest will be heading to college in just five years.

In the past, the legislature has emphasized tuition freezes as the path to college affordability, but we are now at the point where higher education is already unaffordable, so it is imperative that we start making serious efforts to substantially decrease tuition.

As the next Representative for District 60-B, I will work to ensure that our state is sufficiently funding its public colleges and universities. Minnesota's higher education funding has decreased 26 percent since 2008. This is unacceptable in a world where it is becoming increasingly difficult to support yourself without a college degree. Along with this increased funding, the state needs to start holding administrations accountable for investments that will directly improve the academic experience.

When it comes to addressing the debt already weighing on the young people in Minnesota, I will work to expand programs that provide debt forgiveness for public servants — teachers, nurses, and others — and cap student loan interest at a reasonable and affordable rate.